Constitutional Court: ESM Examination Takes up to 6 Months

Published: July 25, 2012; 19:51 · (FriedlNews)

According to the biggest Austrian opposition party FPÖ, the European Stability Mechanism violates the Austrian constitution.

Constitutional Court: ESM Examination Takes up to 6 Months / Picture: © www.hcstrache.at / Press Photo

Gerhart Holzinger, President of the Austrian Constitutional Court (VfGH) expects that an examination of the Fiscal Treaty and the ESM will take about “three to six months”. At the moment, the complaints are not pending yet.

Holzinger says that this case will not be easy to decide on. Nevertheless, he promised to work on the examination quickly. The only criterion will be the Austrian constitution and not the calls of rating agencies, Holzinger explained.

The three opposition parties FPÖ, BZÖ and the Green Party plan to submit a complaint against the Fiscal Pact. However, only FPÖ wants to fight against ESM. In Austria, a complaint of unconstitutionality is only possible after the signing of the Federal President.

President Heinz Fischer has signed both ESM and the Fiscal Pact last week. FPÖ´s leader Heinz-Christian Strache criticized Fischer sharply. For Strache, Fischer has disqualified himself as guardian of the Austrian constitution. The opposition leader underlined that the EU member countries have given up their sovereignty and that a dictatorship of European capital was established.

Strache stressed that his party will not only fight against the Fiscal Pact, but also against the „European Stability Mechanism“ (ESM). „We have to protect the Austrians against this debt pact.“ Strache said.

At the beginning of July, the governing parties SPÖ and ÖVP ratified the ESM together with the opposition party „The Greens“. In Austria, the ESM ratification needs a two-third majority of the members of the National Council. Without the consent of the Green Party, SPÖ and ÖVP would not have been able to ratify the ESM. Austria´s guarantees will amount to € 17.3bn. Furthermore, Austria´s contributions in cash come at € 2.2bn. In total, ESM´s size comes at € 700bn.

According to the Green Party, the Fiscal Pact would is „economically irrational and harmful“. Moreover, he considers the Pact to be „uneuropean and undemocratic“, because the national Parliaments would be „sidetracked“. The common complaint will be brought before the Austrian High Court of Constitution in September. The three parties argue that the national sovereignty over the budget will be abolished. This would violate the Austrian Constitution, the opposition parties say.